It takes a village

I’ve heard the saying many times that it takes a village to raise a child. Before I had my own child I knew it made sense but I didn’t have an opportunity to put it in practice.

The thing they don’t tell you about in using your village there is a level of vulnerability there. Yall know how I feel about being vulnerable. It makes me nervous, lol.

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I’m everything in this gif when I leave my kid with someone. I’m happy and excited because I’m thinking freedom! lol.

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If I leave my kid with you then I open myself to your opinions, guidance and criticism. People love to give new moms unsolicited advice. I also have to trust that you have my babies best interest in mind just like I do. I have to hope you aren’t judging him and by proxy judging me.

Being a parent is often about second guessing every decision you make.

My village has shrunk quite significantly this year. That’s another place where vulnerability comes in. I’m going to have to ask people I may not normally ask if they can watch LJ. I may have to bother people. I hate bothering people. I don’t want anyone to help me out of obligation. Ultimately though it’s not about my feelings. Its about what’s best for my kid.

I know that its good that my village has spread out across the country. This has huge advantages for myself and my son.

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I wish I had multiple people around to get opinions from when I was a kid. My son will have that. He will have places to visit, lesson to learn, adventures to be had all over the country. He will have tons of people to pour love into him and see him in a way that sometimes his parents won’t be able to.

I reminded a friend and myself, that a baby is just on loan from God. He trusted me to take care of him but ultimately He is the one helping me provide the best care for my child. I’m not doing it alone.

And so I am sure confident that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

This verse is the perfect reminder that no matter how big or small my village my child will be ok. Not because of me but because of God.

Until next time,

Dominique

Is God tired of my prayer?

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. Isaiah 40:28 NLT

God will never get tired of your prayers. He isn’t like us. He is slow to anger. Time to God is not like time to us. He wants us to be persistent. You can ask the same thing as much as you want. Continuously praying keeps you focused on him.

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Is this how you think God is listening to your prayer? Shaq might be irritated but God isn’t.

As you continue to pray your prayers will shift because you can’t be in constant communication with God and not be changed. Its not possible.

If you are going to have peace, you have to stay focused on God. When you stop praying the discouragement sets in. That’s why we are told to pray without ceasing.

Does God say stop praying if we don’t get what we want? From my research I don’t think he does. Maybe you need to change the question. But staying in constant communication with the Lord about your troubles, fears, desires is never a bad thing.

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for [a]bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9-13

Somebody once said to me when I was praying for a baby, “maybe God wants you to pray for something else or he is tired of that prayer”. At the time I followed that advice but looking back, I don’t think that was true.

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There are no examples in the bible of God telling people to stop praying. Or pray about something else. Joyce Meyer says get yourself off your mind. I don’t think that is a bad idea. Getting myself off my mind definitely helped me stop feeling sorry for myself. But I wouldn’t say stop asking God for that thing but make sure you add in other peoples prayer requests as well.

Here is a story of in the bible a persistent widow. Jesus told this story in Luke to remind us to be persistent. If that terrible judge didn’t care about anyone gave that woman what she wanted, what would our father in heaven do?

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8

Remember to not put human characteristics on God. Keep talking to him, keep persisting, just remember to pray for other people in your situation as well.

Until next time,

Dominique


Resources

https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.40.28.NLT https://www.gotquestions.org/pray-repeat.html

https://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/3-reasons-to-keep-praying-about-the-same-thing/

How to remember God’s promises

I have this picture on my phone as the lock screen saver.

Dominque and Jesse, May 2018, photo by Marcus Jackson

This is one of the maternity pics from when I was pregnant with my son. Secondary infertility is something that makes me really nervous. I try not to worry but now that my son is almost three and people continue to ask when are we having the next one, not being able to get pregnant lingers in the back of my mind. I know in theory I can get pregnant, I have been before but circumstances can make you feel different. Even other peoples circumstances make me nervous. I also unfortunately know several people who have had miscarriages. I know their situation isn’t mine, but it doesn’t help me feel any better.

Putting that picture on my phone and seeing it every time I pick my phone up has helped me feel much better. It made start thinking about other things I could do to remember God’s promises to me.

  1. See if you can find a visual image to use as a screen saver on your phone. Maybe its a picture of a house you plan to buy, maybe its a car, it can be anything that serves as a reminder to what God told you.
  2. I started looking through my journal for other times God has answered my prayer. Rather big or small. If he is faithful in small things, he will be faithful in big things too. If you don’t keep a journal start making a list daily of all the prayers God has answered. Its a great reminder of what he can do.
  3. I pulled up verses in the bible app on trust.
bibleapp YouVersion

There were a ton of verses, so I try to read those every morning before I get out of bed and every night before I go to sleep.

4.I put a reminder on my phone of the promise. This is a great idea that I got from bloomingboldly.blogspot.com. One of my alarms says God loves me.

5. Read/Listen to books, devotionals, podcasts, sermons, songs. Anything that can remind you of the promise. You know my go tos right now. Sarah Jakes Roberts, Steven Furtnick. I put two examples below. Check them out, they always encourage me.

I have mentioned many times that God is not going to play you. Constantly reminding yourself of the promise that he made to you, is great way to stop a worry spiral, a whatif parade. He loves you and knows the desires of your heart. Never forget that.

Until next time,

Dominique


Resources

https://bloomingboldly.blogspot.com/2017/07/5-ways-to-remember-gods-promises.html

Is God Mad at Me?

The short answer is NO.

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I know it may feel like that sometimes, or even a lot of times depending on what you may be going through. I know when I couldn’t get pregnant, I thought God was mad at me for being selfish, or mad at me for not following instructions, or mad at me for not doing enough.

I have friends who think God is holding a grudge against them from some sin they committed years ago but that isn’t true either.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Those verses are from Psalm 103. This was written by King David. A man after God’s own heart. He also committed adultery and killed a man to try and cover it up. Not exactly the actions of a person who is in favor with God. It’s true though. Even after the terrible things he did, God continued to bless him.

David points out some things we need to remember.

  1. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, SLOW to anger, abounding in love. The thing you think is mad at he probably isn’t. It takes him a long time to get mad. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8
  2. He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities. God isn’t petty.
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One of my favorite verses is God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19 We put human attributes on God so we can better understand his greatness but sometimes that gets blurry. God isn’t trying to get you, he doesn’t want you to feel bad. There are consequences for your actions but they don’t last forever.

3. As far as the heavens are from Earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. If you know nothing else know that God loves you, a lot, a lot. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, nothing!

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4. As far as east is from west, he has removed our transgressions. Think about how far east is from west. You can’t measure it. Its not possible. If you have asked for forgiveness, then you are forgiven.

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Don’t let your circumstances have you doubting God’s character. Keep praying, keep believing, remember the promises he made to you.

We’ll talk next about how to remember God’s promises.

Talk to you soon,

Dominique

Inspiration

Hi friends,

Its been awhile. You’ve probably are wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I told yall I got a new job back in July. It kind of took over my life. I been working for this promotion for so long when I got it I immediately went into overdrive. It was a busy time.

I got what I prayed for and I put God on the back burner. I had not planned on doing that, it just happened. I still read my bible and I still did my morning devotion but it wasn’t the same. I was more going through the motions.

I stopped going to my caregroup because I was working so late, I stopped getting up to do my devotional and writing in the morning because either I was tired from staying up late from working or staying up late just because I didn’t want to go to bed.

In doing all these things I didn’t feel inspired. I stopped being plugged into the power source. A few minutes reading my bible and writing out my prayers isnt enough to plug into the power source.

What inspires me?

Sermons I hear inspire me, but my church has been doing church online for almost 2 years now and its not the same, not an excuse but its not helping. It’s easier to not be engaged when you are not in person. I also don’t have the same sense of urgency because if I miss it on Sunday I can go back and watch it anytime, or so I would say.
Podcast I listen to inspire me too. However sometimes I just want to be entertained no message necessary.

Why haven’t I been listening to anything inspirational?

I think listening to inspirational stuff reminded me of what I wasn’t doing. As I am writing this I realize that feeling I was feeling wasn’t coming from God. He doesn’t condemn us, he convicts and there is certainly a difference.

As always he is slowly pulling me back in. I have been going to care group again and bible study. I needed it. I also haven’t taken on too much. That has been lingering in the back of mind. I don’t want to be stressed like I was last year around this time. I was starting to feel like I needed to slow down but I didn’t do it and it eventually blew up in my face.

November is National Novel Writing Month and I am going to be working on my book. It’s not a fictional novel but its a book so I am going to try and apply the same principles. At the very least it will give me some accountability.

Writing this book is something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I also know that writing is not always about feeling inspired, its also about consistency. I don’t know where the blog going land as I figure this out. I appreciate you sticking beside me.

Wish me luck,

Dominique

36

Its my birthday! Well it was my birthday. My birthday is 9/13 so it’s been a few weeks. Turning 36 is not really exciting. I don’t get a Jesus year like I did at 33. 35 feels like woah! I’m really grown. 36 just feels like another year. It hasn’t been though. 35 was a crazy year and even though it was so challenging everything I learned was preparing me for this year.

Gods timing is always better than ours. It sucks when your in the moment but looking back I see his hand in every lesson I learned.

I’ve had many blessings to kick off this year of life. I renewed my vows in Jamaica, I got a promotion at work, my husband bought me a new car for my birthday, my brother and I will be going into business together. These are all good things. I wouldn’t be prepared to do any of them if I hadn’t started really doing the growth work that I needed to in 2020.

As reflect back on 35 it doesn’t look like what I thought it would. I was still trying to be in control of much of what happened that year and so much of it was out of my hands.

As I move into 36, I ask God to help me accept (sooner,lol) the things I don’t have control over. Be ready to embrace change and be ready to pivot when necessary. At work we talk all the time about the ability to pivot. No problem doing it there but in my personal life I like things to go according to my plan. God’s plan is ultimately best, no matter how we feel. No matter if we don’t understand. He wants to bless us beyond what we can ask for. That often requires pushing us into uncomfortable territory.

I’m praying that in 36 that I don’t shy away from the uncomfortable. That I stretch myself and take more risks. Being vulnerable, asking for help, admitting when wrong, trying new things… all these things are risky. Following God’s plan when you don’t know the next step is risky. I am going to remind myself that God always has my back and best interest in mind even when it hurts.

I’m excited to see where this year takes me. It has already started off pretty interesting.

See you in October,

Dominique

Things that keep you from seeing clearly

You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen.
Isaiah 42:20 NLT

How often have we known the right thing to do but we didn’t do it? How often is our judgment cloudy because we aren’t seeing things clearly?

Are you stopping to pay attention? Perception is reality but often our reality is skewed. I found the image below on Pintrest. I know I have done a few of these things before.

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The biggest ones I dealt with were desperately holding on to my plans and self limiting beliefs. When you feel things just have to go a certain way you are really putting limits on yourself. This allows no room for innovation, to switch up or try new things. Sometimes pivoting can be the best thing for you but you can’t pivot it you aren’t paying attention.

Imposter syndrome is a self limiting belief. Perfectionism is a self limiting belief. Imposter syndrome makes you feel like you aren’t qualified for whatever it is you’re doing. You aren’t able to see yourself as other people see you. You wouldn’t be at the next level if you couldn’t do it. Trust the skills you’ve learned, the work you’ve done, the sacrifices you have made.

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We think these thought processes will help us. They are just trying to protect us from being hurt. However self limiting beliefs didn’t help me. Being afraid to take a risk or make a mistake was just holding me back from greatness.

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Another common one is the fear of uncertainty. Being afraid of the future can have you making bad decisions in the present. We don’t know what the future holds, good or bad. We have to trust that God has the best for us.

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Have you let the problem you are having make you forget what God can do?

Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
2 Kings 6:16‭-‬17 NLT

We have to pray to see things with his eyes, listen with his ears, so we can get the true perspective on things and not our skewed vision of a situation. We have to ask him to remove any hindrances that keep us from seeing a situation clearly.

Until next time,

Dominique

Doing the work

We talked before about doing the work and being intentional. What is doing the work?

I would say doing the work is being intentional about being the best version of yourself everyday. Its hard to do.

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Its hard to decide I’m going to make the best choice for me, not the choice that is easiest or the most comfortable. It is deciding that I am going to make decisions today that my future self will thank me for.

It’s planting seeds now that your future self with harvest later.

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I didn’t know I needed to do any work for a long time. We spend a lot of time in life just moving. Completing tasks, going to work, coming home, having a little fun, repeat. Covid is what made me stop and try to evaluate how I was feeling. I knew something was off but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

I decided to go see a therapist that helped me tremendously. Therapy is not for everyone, but it can be extremely helpful in assisting you in processing your stuff.

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Even though therapy is more common for people to talk about I still felt embarrassed to tell people I went to see one. I don’t see her anymore. I went every week starting last August until January. That was intense.

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I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that for everyone but I needed to get my moneys worth. I was going through Betterhelp and they charge you monthly, and it wasn’t cheap. The gains I got from it were priceless though. I learned how to set boundaries, how to put myself first, how to feel my feelings, how to say no, how not to take responsibility for other people’s choices or try to save folks.

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Stuffing your feelings or numbing yourself is easy. That doesn’t require anything of you. Doing the work, is not easy or for the faint of heart. When I started to do the work, I started noticing more work I needed to do. That wasn’t fun. I also had to remind myself to give myself, grace. I don’t have to have it all figured out.

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Its a process. I know I wanted to work on my baggage so I wouldn’t pass those issues down to my kid. I knew healing from old hurts would make me a better wife, better mom, better leader.

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I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be be the best version of myself if I didn’t open my eyes to what was going on inside of me. Its easier to not notice what is going on in you and just keep pushing. However you owe it to yourself to recognize what is going on and do the work to make it better.

We’ll talk next time about things that keep you from seeing what’s going on.

Until next time,

Dominique

Are your actions matching your prayers?

We talked this time last year about feeling like God left you on read. I was able to give you 10 reasons.

Just a few reasons:

1. Are you spending time with God? 2. Are your motives good? 3. Did He already answer and you didn’t like what he said?

As I have been praying for things this summer another one came to my attention.

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Have my actions aligned with what I’ve been praying for? When I was praying for a baby I was doing everything to show God I was ready.

My pastor says we have to show God we are serious. I wanted a baby but the babies room was my closet. I was partying every weekend and eating terribly. That’s not going to work. I needed to get some things in order.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 NIV

Do you want a new job and your applying a lot of places but no hits yet? Have you mentally checked out of your current position? Are you still doing your best or just going through the motions?

Your praying for a spouse but have you done your own work to be ready for them when God sends them your way?

You want to write a book but have you set time assign to make sure you get it done?

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Don’t read this as manipulation because it’s not. Its putting yourself in the best position possible. It goes back to bloom where you’re planted

Gods timing is always best but we can show him we are ready. Faith without works are dead. We play an active role in our lives. The choices we make big or small make are all impactful.

Until next time,

Dominique

5 months left

Happy August! Summer is almost over. Have you enjoyed it? Did you do all the things you thought you would?

As summer is ending it makes me think about the intentions and goals I set for 2021. A few of them I messed up. One being I wanted to post every month of the year. I missed June though. Its ok. I don’t plan on missing anymore.

One of my words for 2021 was intentional. I have been doing a better job with that. I’ve been saying no to things, I’ve been focusing on what’s important. I’m creating more time for myself. I’m giving myself more grace. I’m reading this book called Self Compassion by Kristen Neff. It has some really good stuff in it. Very helpful.

Where are you in what you wanted to accomplish in 2021? Have you had to modify your goal?

2021 doesn’t look anything like I thought it would. Covid is acting up again, student loan debt isnt cancelled, housing market is out of control

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Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

As we enter into the later part of the year remember there is still time. Time to step it up, pivot or adjust if needed.

You are not accomplishing these things on your own. God is walking beside you cheering you on.

You got this!

Until next time,

Dominique